Springfield College has selected three Springfield Public Schools students as its 2018 Jesse Parks Scholarship recipients. Since 1986, the Jesse Parks Scholarship has provided an opportunity for high school seniors of color, who live in Springfield, a chance to qualify for a full-tuition scholarship at Springfield College.
Cheyenne Daniels, a Sabis International Charter School of Springfield graduate, will be majoring in occupational therapy at Springfield College. Daniels was a member of the varsity soccer team at Sabis, and was also a volunteer in peer tutoring and mentoring. Daniels was also a leader with the Student Life Organization and the National Honor Society.
“Receiving the Jesse Parks Scholarship represents that all of my hard work and all of the support from my parents has paid off,” said Daniels. “I am able to become the first generation in my family to go to college, and this scholarship helps me work towards achieving my career dream of becoming an occupational therapist.”
Quiana Rodriguez, a 2018 graduate from the Springfield Renaissance School, will enroll at Springfield College majoring in criminal justice. Rodriguez has been an active volunteer in the community assisting at local food pantries, giving back to the homeless, and actively participating in suicide prevention and breast cancer awareness events.
"Being awarded the Jesse Parks Scholarship will allow me to get the education I need from Springfield College to become a local police officer," said Rodriguez. "It has also motivated me to continue helping others by volunteering. I have successfully enrolled in a Humanics seminar at Springfield College where I hope to gain experiences that will help me create positive changes in my community."
Nathalie Beltran-Vargas, a Springfield Central High School graduate, will enroll at Springfield College majoring in Biology.
Springfield College established the Jesse Parks Scholarship 30 years ago through its commitment to expand educational opportunities to students from underrepresented ethnic groups in its home city.
Each year, the Springfield College Jesse Parks Scholarship Committee selects at least one student of color from Springfield who has demonstrated achievement in academics, cocurricular activities participation, involvement in community service, and commitment to the ideals of multiculturalism.
The scholarship is named after long-time Springfield College faculty member Jesse L. Parks, who had been a faculty member at Springfield College for 23 years. Parks served as the director of the graduate physical education program at the College and also assisted leaders in education in several nations while establishing college and secondary school physical education programs.
Additionally, he devoted his personal time to developing leaders in Africa and was deeply devoted to multiculturalism. Parks worked to bridge gaps between people of all races, economic situations, and education levels in both developing and established nations.